Even When You’re Dating, You’re Not Dating

My friend is back in the dating game for the first time in a while, and she’s doing it here in Los Angeles. Needless to say, from the moment she began this process, I’ve been fascinated.  Because I literally do not know people who date here, I thought this would be a terrific experiment in human interaction in an alien environment.

My thoughts on dating are a bit faded, as I have not actually done much of it in my life. I just seemed to fall into long-term relationships rather than actively trying new people on for size.  So, much like my friend, I didn’t know what to expect. I pictured some nice dinners out at restaurants, a couple of walks on the beach, a night or two of Shakespeare in the park and maybe some sort of sport viewing.  I get that these are tough economic times, but two of those activities are free here in LA, so I figured that even if her perspective dates weren’t CEOs, she’d have a shot at doing at least two of those things.  I think she did, too.

Apparently, even when you are dating in Los Angeles, you aren’t actually dating.  I mean, you go on your first date to a bar/restaurant for coffee/drink.  So far, this seems normal if you don’t have previous knowledge of your potential love match.  Here’s where the thought patterns seem to diverge: I thought if they liked you (and these men appear to really like her), you’d get a second date out in the world. Silly me.

Evidently, dating in Los Angeles means that you meet each other once and then you text. Once you’ve done that a sufficient number of times, the guy suggests that he should come over and “hang out.” Now, I might not have dated in several centuries, but even I know what “hang out” means.  Still, if you both seem interested in one another, this texting continues.  You find that you have similar (or not similar) interests, and you find yourself intrigued. Excellent.  He says something funny/adorable/charming/interesting, and you think that this might be something worth shaving your legs for. No matter what, the texting continues, as does, seemingly, his interest.

All this sounds good—except for the fact that you aren’t actually dating. Instead, you are texting and getting propositioned. Now, if that’s all you are looking for, this world seems made for you. If you actually want to date out in the world, move somewhere else.

Texting is dating here. I’m absolutely convinced of it. I don’t know if people are so focused on their own lives that even when pursuing romance, they don’t want to inconvenience themselves, or if the prospect of driving several hours in this town in order to get to a date doesn’t seem worth it. Maybe it’s just expedient? Maybe it’s just expected—many people are just trying to hook up these days and maybe men now know that they don’t actually have to expend any effort to get sex, so they don’t.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, at least this makes everything much more straightforward.” Think again. All that second guessing you do with men in real life gets tripled in these situations because you don’t have enough knowledge of them to know what they mean. I know, I know. Many of you are yelling out, “Men literally mean what they say, and women get in trouble when they look for subtext that isn’t there.”  And I get that, but when you literally don’t know what they mean, and have no real background with them other than other barely comprehensible texts, I think you just give up.

And curse…often.

So, to the daters who read this blog, do you actually date? Have you found that texting has replaced in-person interaction?

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